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Features information, tips and hints on all aspects of photography as well as photo editing technique. Your critique, comments and compliments are always welcomed to help me improve and learn.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nikon Coolpix P80 (New Launch)

Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the COOLPIX P80, a new high-performance model tooled to satisfy camera enthusiasts. Built on a custom application of Nikon's innovative EXPEED digital image processing concept and incorporating the precision optics of a NIKKOR lens, the COOLPIX P80 offers extended reach and advanced shooting functions for satisfying performance in a wide variety of shooting scenes.

Nikon Coolpix P80 is a point-and-shoot camera that has an 18X optical zoom lens that's a 35mm equivalent of 27-486mm. It integrates a 10.1 megapixel CCD image sensor with Nikon's innovative EXPEED digital image processing concept. The P80 offers Programmed Auto [P], Shutter-priority Auto [S], Aperture-priority Auto [A] and Manual [M] modes, optical vibration reduction and up to 6400 ISO at lower resolutions. It boasts of a 2.7-inch LCD monitor with anti-reflection coating, wide viewing angle and 230,000 dots of high resolution.

The P80 also offers quick access to a selection of 15 different scene-optimized and movie modes including the ability to shoot pictures in both black and white and color simultaneously. The new graphical user interface has an enhanced pop-up design allowing for more precise menu navigation and interaction.

Nikon Coolpix P80 Spec:
  • 10.1 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F2.8-4.5, 18X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 27 - 486 mm (sounds like the same lens as on the Olympus SP-560 and Fuji FinePix S8100)
  • Optical image stabilization (which Nikon calls Vibration Reduction)
  • Most compact body in its class, according to Nikon
    2.7" LCD display with 230,000 pixels + electronic viewfinder
  • Full manual controls; ISO 3200 and 6400 available when resolution is 3M or less
  • Sport Continuous mode lets you take up to 30 shots in a row at 13 fps
  • All the usual Nikon features: redeye reduction, D-Lighting, and face detection
  • VGA movie mode with sound (or at least I think it's VGA)
  • 50MB onboard memory + SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses EN-EL5 lithium-ion battery; 250 shots per charge
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fujifilm S5 Pro

The FinePix S5 Pro is the first Fujifilm DSLR to use a development of the Real Photo Technology which has been universally lauded in the company's consumer cameras. Dubbed "Real Photo Processor Pro", it should yield improved saturation and tonality, and courtesy of two cycles of noise reduction the S5 Pro now offers ISO sensitivity to 3200 (with noise levels reduced across the board at all sensitivities). The S5 Pro also offers three new variations of the original film simulation mode (now five total) tailored to regional preferences for tonality in different markets. Unusually, the S5 Pro has the ability to password lock (in three levels) custom settings to prevent a photographer changing certain settings accidentally, or for pool cameras which are requeired to have certain settings identical across all camera bodies in the pool.

Image Processing and Quality
* Real Photo Technology Pro, which combines the Super CCD SR Pro sensor and the RP Processor Pro, allows for the wide dynamic range with smoother tonality from brightest light to darkest shadow. The re-designed new Super CCD SR Pro features an optimized low-pass filter that will reduce the noise and minimize moiré. The newly developed RP Processor Pro features two cycles of noise reduction so photographers can snap pictures at light sensitivities as high as ISO 3200 with less noise than comparable cameras at similar ISOs.

Increased Color and Dynamic Range Control

* Photographers can choose from six preset ranges for greater creative control over the FinePix S5 Pro’s expanded dynamic range between 100% and 400%,
* Three new variations of the original film simulation mode have been added (five modes in total) for improved reproduction of natural skin tones.

Face Detection Technology for post image verification

* At the push of a button, the FinePix S5 Pro’s Face Detection Technology detects up to ten faces in a scene immediately after each image is captured. Photographers can zoom in and confirm facial detail, whether eyes are open or closed, focus and exposure on the FinePix S5 Pro’s LCD monitor.


23 x 15.5mm Super CCD SR Pro sensor with 6.17 million S pixels and 6.17 million R pixels (12.34mp effective)


4256 x 2848 pixels

Nikon F

30-1/8000sec + Bulb

Auto / Manual 100-3200

PASM (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter priority, Manual)

Built in, GN12m@ISO 100 Hotshoe (iTTL with Nikon SB600 / SB800)

3D Colour Matrix Metering II, Centreweighted, Spot

Auto, 9 presets, Colour temperature

11 AF points – Single Area AF, Dynamic AF, Group Dynamic AF, Dynamic AF with closest subject priority

95% coverage

USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Still only

Li-Ion, Optional AC Adaptor

CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive

830g (without battery / card)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Canon 450D

Canon launches its latest D-SLR, the EOS 450D. Featuring a 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, EOS Integrated Cleaning System, 3.0” LCD with Live View mode and a new 9-point AF system, the model presents consumers with an unprecedented level of image quality and versatility at this end of the market. The Canon EOS 450D employs features already proven in Canon’s professional EOS-1 series cameras, including the DIGIC III image processor and a redesigned menu system that enables features such as direct control of Speedlite flash units from the camera LCD. A choice of 13 custom functions allows the photographer to customise the camera to their shooting style.

The Canon EOS 450D features:

  • Built for better photos

Built for better photos

The EOS 450D is designed to make photography a fluid experience for photographers of all levels and experience. Housed in a compact body that weighs less than 475 grams, the camera features an improved grip design that provides a natural, ergonomic fit with the user’s hands. A large, bright viewfinder makes image composition clearer and more comfortable. The menu system inherited from professional EOS cameras uses a simplified tab structure that does away with scrolling. It includes a user-defined My Menu tab for instant access to frequently used settings.

Several custom functions are available to optimise the quality of photos captured in a range of situations. Highlight Tone Priority boosts the dynamic range at the highlight end, providing better tonal detail from wedding dresses, cloudy skies and other bright objects. The new Auto Lighting Optimiser corrects brightness and contrast during image processing, while improving skin tones in portraits by ensuring correct exposure for faces. Photographers can also enable additional noise reduction for shots captured at high ISO speeds.

Live View

Available for the first time on a Canon consumer D-SLR, Live View mode makes it easier to shoot from awkward angles, such as ground-level macro shots or when shooting from a tripod. The image from the Live View mode is displayed as a smooth, 30fps video feed on the 3.0” LCD, which is 50% brighter than the screen of the EOS 400D. A grid line display and live histogram can be selected to help with shot composition and exposure. While focusing, the photographer can zoom in on specific details with up to 10x magnification of the image displayed on the LCD screen. Two types of auto focus are available: Quick AF flips the camera mirror momentarily to engage the AF sensor; Live AF uses the image contrast data to focus - a method familiar to anyone upgrading from a compact digital camera.



• 12.2 million effective pixels
• 12.4 million total pixels
• 22.2 x 14.8 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in low-pass filter with self cleaning unit
• 3:2 aspect ratio

Dust reduction:
• Low-pass filter vibration at power-on (can be interrupted)
• Anti-static coating on sensor surfaces
• Software based dust-removal (camera maps dust, removed later)

Image sizes:
• 4272 x 2848 (L)
• 3088 x 2056 (M)
• 2256 x 1504 (S)

Output formats:
• RAW (.CR2 14-bit *)
• RAW (.CR2 14-bit *) + JPEG Large/Fine
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine, Normal

Image processor:

• Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
• 1.6x field of view crop

Focus modes:
• Auto Focus
• Manual Focus (switch on lens)

Auto Focus:
• 9-point CMOS sensor
• Cross-type F2.8 at center *
• AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)

AF modes:
• AI Focus
• One shot
• AI Servo

• Focal-plane shutter
• 30 - 1/4000 sec (0.5 or 0.3 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Bulb

Aperture values:
• F1.0 - F91 (0.3 EV steps)
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used

DOF preview:
Yes, button

LCD Live view:
• Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Grid optional (thirds)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Optional Auto-focus with mirror-down / mirror-up sequence
• Two modes; normal and quieter
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
• Manual focus only

Record review:
• Uses last play mode
• Magnification possible
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold

• Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
• Guide number approx 13
• Modes: Auto, Manual Flash On/ Off, Red-Eye Reduction
• X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Flash exposure compensation: +/-2.0 EV (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps)
• Coverage up to 17 mm focal length (27 mm FOV equiv.)

External flash:
• E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• Hot-shoe

• SD / SDHC card

Power supply:
• Lithium-Ion LP-E5 rechargeable battery (7.4 V, 1050 mAh)
• CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)

Weight (no battery):
475 g (1.0 lb)

How to Get Professional Photos from your XSI

The reason photos are blurry, flat, or not very dynamic is due to a few factors.

1) inadequate lighting - low lighting, hard to distinguish subject matter from surrounding environment. Colors are flat, image lacks pop, often times when its past dusk and there is not enough available sun light. Can be rectified by the use of external lighting such as flash.

2) Poor focus - focus can be affected by inadequate light, the focus systems rely on adequate light to differentiate contrast. The focus system focuses via contrast phase detection, so adequate contrast and light is necessary for accurate focus.

3) Subject matter or camera shake blur - when an inadequate shutter speed is used, it will be hard to hand hold the camera or freeze subjects that are moving fast. Fast shutter speeds are required for action and hand held photography. For action / sport photography, a shutter speed of 1/500th or greater is almost always necessary.

Noise Reduction: When shooting in JPG mode, your camera will likely be applying noise reduction. Noise reduction softens digital noise introduced from high ISO sensitivy or underexposure of photos. Shooting in raw enables greater control in the balance between noise reduction and image sharpness. The end user can process the RAW file as they see fit.

Shooting in JPG:
If you are shooting in JPG, refer to my previous explanation of Picture Styles. These picture styles are user selectable options which change the sharpness, contrast, and other characteristics of your photos in camera on the fly while taking the photos. When shooting a JPG, the camera captures a raw file - compresses the data and processes it using its in camera algorithms and then discards the raw file saving only the JPG. Therefore JPG’s are already compressed, edited, and not extremely capable of being altered in post processing. You will want to maximize the results of your cameras inbody software if you are going to use it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fujifilm FinePix S100FS

FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. unveiled the FinePix S100FS (Film Simulation) digital camera, its most advanced SLR-styled camera to date. The FinePix S100FS provides an all-in-one solution for photo enthusiasts and advanced amateur photographers seeking the manual controls and functionality of a Digital-SLR, without the hassle and expense of additional lenses and other accessories.

FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. unveiled the FinePix S100FS (Film Simulation) digital camera, its most advanced SLR-styled camera to date. The FinePix S100FS provides an all-in-one solution for photo enthusiasts and advanced amateur photographers seeking the manual controls and functionality of a Digital-SLR, without the hassle and expense of additional lenses and other accessories.

Key features found on the FinePix S100FS include:

Optical Image Stabilisation: The FinePix S100FS features Fujifilm’s Optical Image Stabilisation technology to ensure clean, sharp and blur-free images, even in low-light conditions. This combines image stabilisation through a mechanically stabilised “floating” lens element to reduce blur from the photographer’s hand-shake, with Fujifilm’s Picture Stabilisation Technology, to reduce blur caused by subject movement, for the ultimate in stabilisation technology.
Multi-Bracketing function: The FinePix S100FS has three bracketing functions useful for high level photography: Film Simulation Bracketing, Dynamic Range Bracketing and AE Bracketing.
Comprehensive photographic controls: Including Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority exposure modes.
High-speed shooting: Reliable high-speed performance is possible through Fujifilm’s newly developed Super CCD VIII HR and the new RP (real photo) III Processor. At 3 Megapixels, a maximum of 50 continuous shots at 7 frames/second is possible. In addition, 14 scene settings and customer settings can be selected, as can four auto-focus modes offer convenient high-speed, high-precision shooting and focusing for a diverse range of conditions.
Image formats: Capture images in both JPEG and RAW format.
• Movie Mode: Movie mode with sound at 30 frames per second in VGA quality, and zoom capable with manual zoom ring while in movie mode.
xD/SD/SD-HC compatible slot: The FinePix S100FS features an xD/SD compatible slot which accepts not only Fujifilm’s traditional xD-Picture Cards but also Secure Digital (SD) and SD-High Capacity/SD-HC cards too.
2.5” tiltable LCD: The FinePix S100FS features a tilting 2.5” LCD that makes it easy to frame shots from a variety of shooting positions.


Number of Effective Pixels:
11.1 million pixels

Image sensor:
2/3 inch Super CCD HR

Number of Recorded Pixels:
3,840 x 2,880 / 4,032 x 2,688(3:2 format) / 2,816 x 2,112 /2,048 x 1,536 /1,600 x 1,200 /
640 X 480 pixels

Storage Media:
Internal memory (approx. 25MB) /xD-Picture Card™ ( 16MB - 2 GB )
SD memory card/ SDHC memory card

File format:
Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver 2.2 ),
Uncompresed CCD-RAW (RAF format, RAW conversion software included in CD-ROM),
Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG ) with sound,
Audio: WAVE format, Monaural sound
(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)

Recording capacity (with 512MB xD-Picture Card):
Still images:
3840x2880 (RAW) - 22
3840x2880(F) - 93
3840x2880 (N) - 186
4032x2688(3:2) - 189
2816x2112 - 343
2048x1536 - 626
1600x1200 - 779
640x480 - 3194
VGA (25fps) - 7.4 min.
QVGA (25fps) - 14.7 min.

Fujinon 14.3X Optical zoom lens , F2.8 (W) - F5.3 (T)

Focal Length:
f=7.1mm - 101.5 mm, Equivalent to 28- 400 mm on a 35mm camera

Aperture Range:
F 2.8 -F 11 (W) F5.3 -F11 (T), max. 13 steps in 1/3 EV increment

Optical Zoom:
14.3X Wide (28- 400mm, 35mm equivalent)

Digital Zoom:
Approx 2.0X

Image Stabilizer:
Optical (Lens Shift Type)

Shutter Speed:
(AUTO mode) 1/4 sec to 1/4000 sec
(All other mode) 30sec. to 1/4000 sec.
Bulb mode (up to 30 sec)

Exposure Control:
TTL 256-zones metering

Bracketing Mode:
Film Simulation BKT (PROVIA, Velvia, SOFT)
Dynamic Range BKT (DR100%, 200%, 400%)
AE BKT (±1/3EV,±2/3EV,±1EV)

Exposure Mode:
Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual

Shooting modes:
Mode dial : Auto, FSB, SP1, SP2, C1, C2, P, A, S, M, Movie
SP1: Nature, Nature-soft, Nature-Vivid, Flower
SP2: Portrait, Portrait - soft, Baby, Portrait Enhancer, Night, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Sport, Fireworks
FSB: Film simulation Bracketing,
C1/C2 : Custom setting position

Continuous shooting:
Top-7 (max 3 frames/sec, (CCD-RAW: Top-3)
High Speed Top-50, (max 7 frames/sec, 3M pixels)
Last-7 (max 3 frames/sec), (CCD-RAW: Last-3)
Long-Period (max 1.1 frames/sec)

Movie recording:
640 x 480 pixels, 30 frames/sec.
320 x 240 pixels, 30 frames/sec.
With monaural sound

Approx. 10 sec./2 sec.delay

ISO Sensitivity:
Auto / Auto (1600) / Auto (800) / Auto (400) /
Equivalent to 100 / 200 / 400 / 800/ 1600 / 3200 / 6400 /10000 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
* ISO6400: 6M pixels or lower, ISO10000: 3M pixels or lower (Number of recorded pixels)

White Balance:
Automatic scene recognition,
Preset [Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White) / Incandescent light], Custom

Video Out:
NTSC / PAL selectable

Digital input/output:
USB 2.0 High-speed

Power Supply:
NP-140 Li-ion battery(included) / AC power adapter AC-84V (sold separately)

Approx.918g / 32.4 oz.
(excluding accessories, batteries and memory card)